NJ State Police Use Yellow Submarine
in Fight Against Terrorism
Newark, N.J. -- The New Jersey State Police today
unveiled the newest weapon in their Homeland Security arsenal.
It’s a small, unmanned submarine that can search underwater
for objects and even grab items with a robotic claw and bring
them to the surface. Troopers from the Marine Services Bureau
ran the bright yellow vehicle through demonstration maneuvers
at the Newark Bay State Police Station after dropping it into
the water from the edge of the dock. Images from the craft
were transmitted to the control trailer via a 1000-foot-long
Known as an ROV, (remote operated vehicle) the submersible allows operators to view and manipulate underwater targets of interest from the safety of land. Two closed circuit television cameras and a side-scan SONAR shows live video that are also recorded on DVD for later inspection.
The ROV was obtained by the State Police in partnership with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's Office of Emergency Management. The special security needs of the Port Authority's facilities makes the ROV a valuable asset in the protection of potential underwater terrorism targets. It will also be very useful in searches for submersed objects related to criminal or missing persons cases.
The ROV was demonstrated from a special trailer fitted that is able to be crane-lifted onto a larger ship for waterborne operations or towed to any land-accessible location. Several State Police vessels are being retrofitted to allow ROV deployment directly from the deck of those boats. Waterborne operations can be conducted in any body of water ranging from open-ocean sites to small rivers, lakes and ponds. The ROV is able to travel approximately 1,500 feet from its command center and descend to approximately 1,000 feet.
"With the addition of this unmanned submersible, there's virtually no place in New Jersey that the State Police can't go," said Captain Ken Mallette, chief of the Marine Services Bureau. "The capabilities of this craft augment those of our T.E.A.M.S. divers and Marine troopers by giving us access to the deepest and most difficult underwater conditions in our state."
The ROV may be requested by any law enforcement agency for any Homeland Security mission and/or any law enforcement/criminal investigation purpose. In addition, the ROV may be used for educational and research purposes. Rutgers University and other educational and research organizations have expressed interest in the ROV.
Manufactured by Deep Ocean Engineering, the Phantom HD2+2 is designed to be used in strong currents. It has seven drive propellers that adroitly move the boxy 265-pound vessel through both salt and fresh water. The robotic arm and claw tilts and rotates by way of joystick controls at the remote station. Several tungsten-halogen lights cut through murky water to send high-resolution video back to the operators.
Technical information can be viewed at http://deepocean.com/hd2-2.pdf
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